Two things have contributed to the following post:
You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero.
Listening to artists ranging from Whitney Houston to Fleetwood Mac at 3 a.m. while my mind races about things such as when will I be responsible enough to adopt a dog and world hunger.
So here goes: I have come to the conclusion that all anyone wants to do on this earth is make a difference.
When Kate and I began I Love Nice People, our naivety really was our powerhouse. We had no goals for I Love Nice People. In fact, I don't think either of us - or our parents - thought it would make it through the first year. Although it was only 2 and a half years ago, it feels like a decade. We could not have dreamed of what I Love Nice People would turn in to. Each little accomplishment (our first order, creating our first joint bank account, making our first Gmail account) was something we celebrated. To us, it never felt like a chore or job, and I truly do not think it ever will.
We often think, what is it about I Love Nice People that keeps us going. Working on ILNP never actually feels like work. Each time we dive into the good the bad and the ugly of owning a nonprofit we are fueled by passion. We feed off of our dreams and the potential outcome of the difference our work may make in the world.
Our passion for I Love Nice People is actually pretty selfish. We continue to pour our hearts into it because of the return of energy we receive. It makes us feel good, happy, and like we are contributing to something. As millennials, I think we want so deeply to make a difference in the world. Our generation no longer lives a conventional life. We carve our own paths and get weird looks for not following what our mothers, fathers, and grandparents did.
Yet, we are so proud to be part of this generation. The generation of movers and shakers. The ones who are tired of sitting around and feel a personal responsibility to make a difference. We are a generation that supports one another and tackles each day like it may be our last.
Since graduating I have moved home and I Love Nice People has been my "full-time job." Crazy, I KNOW. When I explain to somewhat older individuals what I am doing, I am met with, "so have you started applying for jobs?"
For the most part, it is the people my age that completely get it. They get what I ultimately yearn for. They understand that we simply just want to make a difference. If living with a minimum income and a ramen noodle diet is what it takes, we're all for it.
Disclaimer: I am extremely blessed to have parents who support me through and through. They have sacrificed their bonus room to serve as my headquarters and are constantly on standby to help in case of ILNP crisis or personal meltdown. Fortunately, the only thing I have had to forego is my larger bedroom in exchange for my sister's substantially smaller bedroom. Sacrifices, man. On the plus side: it made me purge!
I would be lying to myself if I said I didn't doubt my decision. I have moments every day where I think what in the world have I done. But why am I so afraid? Jen Sincero explains many of her clients are individuals who have done what they are "supposed" to do for the past 15 years and have received nothing but misery and resentment for not following their dreams. It is when they cut ties with their old life and follow their passion that they hit euphoria.
I guess what I am trying to say is channel your inner Stevie Nicks and GO YOUR OWN WAY!
No matter what you do, do it for you. Listen to yourself; love yourself. You will make a difference in this world by being true.